Volcanic Earth is located in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu which is an archipelago of 83 separate island located in the South Pacific. We are a manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer and exporter of natural organic skin care products and traditional Melanesian skin treatments whose main focus is to formulate safe and effective products for people with skin problems from aging to acne and everything in between. Our products are made from locally-produced Tamanu Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Volcanic Ash and Volcanic Pumice. The company sources inputs from various areas of Vanuatu and operates a processing and storage facility in the capital, Port Vila.
Located in the beautiful South Pacific, Vanuatu (formerly known as the New Hebrides) straddles what is known as the “Pacific Ring Of Fire”. This small island nation of 83 separate islands issituated between Fiji and New Caledonia (about 1,400 miles east of north-eastern Australia) and boasts the most accessible active volcano on our planet (Mt. Yasur on the outer island of Tanna).
Vanuatu is also known for its natural waterways, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. This untouched paradise is virtually free of pollution, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or insecticides. Crops are grown organically and flourish here in the rich volcanic soils and high rainfalls without the need for chemicals.
It is through its involvement in Vanuatu trade and the opening up global markets for its unique products that Volcanic Earth seeks to be a significant employer for Ni Vanuatu inhabitants but in a way that allows its people to continue to live in happiness and harmony with the beautiful natural (unspoiled) environment and stay in touch with ancient earth.
The company is headed up by Linda Trenkner (CEO) and her husband Barry Roche (Export Partner), who are both strong advocates of natural, organically grown products. They are great supporters of the belief that we are all connected to the earth’s energy. Our motto is, “the stronger the connection, the stronger and healthier we become”.
Origins of Volcanic Earth
Volcanic Earth was born out of a desire to utilize the natural resources of Vanuatu to create much need jobs and employment opportunities for disadvantaged Ni Vanuatu, particularly on the more remote islands of Vanuatu. Linda and Barry were aware of the extensive ash planes on Tanna Island to the South and thought that there must be a way to utilize this ash to the benefit of mankind rather than leaving it to go to waste. After extensive research and testing, they discovered that volcanic ash and pumice are natural exfoliating agents that also work to cleanse and purify the skin. They learnt that some indigenous people on Tanna Island used volcanic ash as a skin treatment and had for centuries.
Traditional therapies also incorporated the wide use of Coconut Oil and a secret skin healing agent they called Nabagura Oil (these days known as Tamanu Oil). Both of these Oils are natural products produced from nuts. Coconut Trees and Tamanu Trees grow in abundance across virtually all 83 islands of Vanuatu.
These revelations led these Expat Australians to develop an extensive range of natural body scrubs and other natural skin care products based on Virgin Coconut Oil, Tamanu Oil, Volcanic Ash and Pumice. The sourcing of local, raw ingredients and embarking on establishing Volcanic Earth as a trusted, international skin care brand would also create a significant number of income opportunities for villagers collecting coconuts, Tamanu nuts and volcanic ash.
In 2008, Volcanic Earth embarked on a joint project with AusAid to expand its processing plant to produce bulk supplies of skin care products for export markets in the wholesale and retail sectors, as well as a program of working more closely with village suppliers to increase supply and to provide technical support for first stage processing by these suppliers.
Over the next 3 years, Volcanic Earth’s production capacity increased by 400% and the business doubled its gross income. By 2010 Volcanic Earth had established a network of overseas agents/distributors and payments to local tamanu nut collectors and graders, primarily women, were over $A30,000. Coconut suppliers in rural locations were also receiving around $A10,000 per year from Volcanic Earth. Volcanic ash was also purchased in bulk quantities. Payments also went to land transport providers and inter-island shipping companies. Most of these suppliers had limited alternative income sources.
In 2011, Volcanic Earth moved to new premises in Port Vila to further expand its production facilities. Both domestic and export sales grew and continue to grow to this day. With over 700 resellers around the world and stocking distributors in Japan, The Netherlands and Australia, Volcanic Earth is making a direct impact on the lives of more than 1,500 Ni Vanuatu disadvantaged by remoteness and poverty. Villagers now have the opportunity to earn cash for necessities in an otherwise non-cash economy. This hard fought growth has also lead to direct employment opportunities within the company and specialist training.
So when you buy Volcanic Earth products you are not only supporting the growth and export development of a small, local company but you are also contributing to the development of direct and indirect employment and livelihood opportunities for many indigenous communities throughout Vanuatu.
Vanuatu Tamanu Oil – A South Pacific “WIN” For Skin
Worldwide, ancient cultures have discovered natural remedies from the materials available to them. The Melanesian people of Vanuatu are no different. Since Vanuatu’s earliest days, the oil extracted from the nut of the sacred Tamanu tree (known scientifically as Calophyllum Indophyllum) has been used for its wonderful curative and regenerative properties of the skin.
The Tamanu nut, from which oil of Tamanu Oil is made, can only be harvested twice per year. Once the nut is harvested, it must be left to cure for 6 to 8 weeks. After this process has been successfully completed, the oil can be extracted through cold pressing.
Its extraordinary properties have resulted in it being called “Green Gold” of the “Sacred Oil Of Tamanu”. This sacred oil has a rich and long history, but earlier in 1918, French Pharmacopoeia found the oil so powerful in its curative properties that they conducted research and clinical testing topically, orally, and by injection.
In 1928, Sister Marie-Suzanne, a missionary of the the Society of Mary, tested Tamanu’s medicinal properties. She used it effectively to treat leprosy and discovered in 1934 that it had analgesic (a substance that relieves pain) along with sedative properties.
More recent studies prove the medicinal and cosmetic value of pure Tamanu oil. For example:-
Sc Glucan in Tamanu Oil provides natural UV protection. Sc Glucan protects against UV-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress as a new biological UV filter with a SPF18-22 in ophthalmic preparations. This natural UV filter, inhibit 85 % of the DNA damage and oxidative stress induced by UV radiation at 1% concentration in opthalmic preparations (Eur J Pharm. Sci 2007 Mar;30(3-4):203-10. Epub 2006 Nov 9).
Calophyllum Inophyllum oil, even at low concentration (1/10,000, v/v), exhibited significant UV absorption properties (maximum at 300nm) and was associated with an important sun protection factor (18-22) in opthalmic preparations (Eur J Pharm. Sci 2007 Mar;30(3-4):203-10. Epub 2006 Nov 9).
Below are examples of more studies on other Tamanu Oil benefits:
Soothing and protective effect on the skin (sunburn, inflammation, skin redness, insect bites) - EVIC-CEBA laboratory study June 2000 - Ih268/01.
Regenerating effect on the epidermis cells, wound healing (burns, cuts, cracks, scars...) Microna laboratory feb. 2003 - N°03/0607i
Improves the appearance of aged scars (1 year or older) Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists Annual Congress, Hamilton Island 2003
Hypoallergenic (non irritant, non sensitizing). Dermscan April 2007- study DN-730/07EO398
A naturally occurring anti HIV agent (Pharm. Biol., vol 37, n 1, pp71-76)
Vanuatu Tamanu Oil is exempt of the 26 allergen substances listed in 2003/15/CE European directive.
Using the ancient ancestral traditions and harvesting wisdom of the Melanesians, Volcanic Earth used modern technology and created a cold pressed process for extracting Tamanu Oil. This allows us to use the oil without having any chemical additives in it.
The Oil of tamanu has numerous benefits and applications. The ability of this Melanesian remedy to heal the skin surpasses that of many other remedies, including modern day medicines.
Essentially, Tamanu Oil has remarkable regenerative and curative properties. Plus, the oil has a wide spectrum of uses and benefits. Therefore, the oil may be applied to just about any skin problem, but here are some more specific uses.
Below are just some of the many and amazing benefits of this ancient remedy:-
Aging, acne, acne scars, general scarring, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, lick granulomas, hot spots, skin irritations caused by allergies, rashes, cuts, sores, burns of diverse origin (including radiation burns), wounds, chemical burns, insect bites, toenail fungus, bruises, abrasions, warts (including water warts), razor or clipper burns; welts, poison ivy, sunburn, excessive scratching, in areas of loss of hair, ulcerated skin lesions, stretch marks, ulcers, skin grafts, post-surgical wounds, chapped skin; scabs, breast cracks, chilblains, vaginitis, age spots, diabetic sores, preventing skin eruptions, blisters, radio dermatitis (ulcerations due to X-rays), tissue and skin regeneration, calming the pain of wounds (although when used for this purpose it may cause a slight itch).